In 1972, the band Dr. Hook was already singing:
“We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we’ve never known
It’s the thrill that’ll getcha you when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone”
It is the dream of most artists and composers to have their faces printed on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine and receive reviews on Pitchfork. But before that happens, you should keep in mind a strategy of spreading your work from the basics. Writing an interesting, appealing and attractive press release will put your music in the spotlight for the small newspapers and will catch the attention of journalists and music experts.
As a musician, songwriter or composer who is starting your career by selling songs on Royalty Free sites like Themusicase.com it is important to have a spread of your work. Create a website where you can write your bio, put previews of your songs available to your audience, and a schedule of your upcoming shows is the key to getting your name out there.
The difference between the writing staff of Rolling Stone’s and the professionals of a local newspaper and music blogs is that one of them has tens of thousands of CDs waiting to be heard and reviewed, and the other is constantly in need of writing material. Yes! Starting to advertise your work on small local music blogs and newspapers in your city is an important start for your release.
There are many different ways to get in touch with local, national and digital media. The first question you should keep in mind is “Why is my story relevant and worthy of mention in this media?”
Creating a community and fan base
Before attempting to gain the attention of journalists you must create a sense of community for your listeners. Starting with friends and friends of friends who listen to your songs and even your customers at TMC. How can you bring them closer to you and make them feel special?
The first tip we give at Themusicase.com for our partners composers we work with is the importance of writing your Short Bio in your personal profile. This makes your profile much more professional and potential customers will know who is behind the music. To add your Bio Short, login to your composers Panel and go to Edit Profile on the left menu. After that, just click on Edit at the bottom of the Profile Page Settings.
Another fundamental initial strategy is to have your website showcase your compositions and tell your story. Adding photos of your gigs and dates of your tours is also important so that your fans are always on the lookout for what is happening in your career.
Defining who you are as a songwriter
Making a strategy and defining who you are as a songwriter and what your music and purpose is all about is essential before you start writing your press release. Keep in mind the four tips below.
- Defining your sound: If you do not fit into any pre-defined musical genre like rock, jazz or rap, for example, try simplifying in 3 or 4 references at most. Do not list your entire references in a release.
- Be objective: Write only the information you need. It’s unnecessary to write things like “I’ve always wanted to be a singer” or “we’ve been in the field for a long time.” A Press Release is not a diary. Use simple, straightforward language. A confusing text, with lots of unnecessary information, will only disrupt it. Slang and popular expressions only if they are part of the musical genre, like rap, for example.
- Spare compliments: a new artist has to have the self-esteem up, but do not have to put that in the text. If you were quoted in a story or won an award, talk about it. But self-definition as “the new sensation”, “one of the most promising” or “revolutionary sound” will not convince anyone.
- Make music, do not make humor: never use funny phrases, unless it is one of the characteristics of your work.
Writing the Perfect Press Release
The “release” is nothing more than a text with the biography of an artist. It is an important advertisement tool. It only loses in importance to the artist’s songs and the promotional photos.
Even though it is a fundamental form of communication with the public, agencies and concert halls, many artists do not give importance, and, worse than that, they make mistakes that alienate those who want to know the artist better.
You should keep in mind that your music is your selling product. And you should put some marketing strategies into action. There are four key questions your release should answer:
- What is your product or service? Briefly describe what you sell. What is your type of music, but do not go into many details.
- What is your market? Briefly describe to whom you are selling your product. Who your audience is and who you would like to hear your music if you have a defined target audience.
- Who is behind the project / artist? Talk about your background and everything you’ve achieved
- What are your competitive advantages? Just being on the market is not enough. You need to effectively communicate why you or your project is different and what your competitive advantage is.
- Use and abuse of paragraphs: reading a text without breaking lines is very difficult. Often, the reader is lost and cannot make clear the ideas that the text wants to present; one tip for it to not happen is to use short sentences. It helps in understanding the text.
- Capital Letters: IT’S ABSURD, but there are a lot of people that make a point of writing in capital letters – in the internet language this type of writing means that the person is screaming;
- Spelling mistakes: Do you have difficulty writing? The easiest way to write text without errors is with an automatic spell checker that is easily found in Word and similar software’s and also in different browsers. When in doubt, refer to a proofreader and be sure to use the dictionary ostensibly;
- Never lie: saying that you have played alongside the musician X or such in a stage Y does not help much, but lying about these facts can ruin your career;
- Do not delay: do not put a sentence or paragraph just to make your release bigger – it’s better to have a direct, concise 3-line release than 2 pages that say nothing.
- Do not bring useless information: to say that you have a veterinary degree will not help you in anything, much less say that you went on vacation to Miami, New York and London.
Key points your release must contain
- A “hook”: start your text with a “hook”, something that catches the attention of journalists, music people, promoters, nightclub owners and the general public.
- Ideal size (between 150 and 225 words): Do not think that a long release makes a difference – what happens is that people will end up not reading everything, especially if they are in front of the computer on the internet.
- Passion: journalists, promoters and nightclubs look for artists who are passionate about their art.
- A request: At the end of your release, you must ask a question – something that asks for an action from the one who is reading.
- Contacts: Once you’ve written your release, leave your contacts (social networks, website, email, phone) in the footer of the page. They are important so people know where to find you. Social media will serve as a great complement to anyone who wants to know more about you and your work.
Writing a coherent press release, telling your story, your background, and sharing essential information that makes you a special composer is critical to getting your name out in the press. Create a mailing list with people who might be interested in your music and start sending to these contacts. Do not forget that your story is unique and trying to copy the background of another artist will not get you anywhere.
The press release is the fundamental start for you to get your name out there and become more recognized by people. It will also be of fundamental importance to boost your sales at Themusicase.com.
About the author
“Luan Santos is a journalist specialized in production and cultural criticism who loves writing about movies, music and literature. Luan is also content manager on Themusicase.com’s blog”
The post How to write the perfect Press Release as a musician / composer appeared first on Royalty Free Music by The Music Case.